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Procurement policies better very late than never

8 March 2013
Procurement policies better very late than never

The Government’s signal that it is tweaking procurement rules so it is easier for New Zealand companies to win work contracts is long overdue, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce will release changes making tendering more worthwhile for New Zealand companies. The changes include consulting in advance with businesses and taking into account the whole-of-life costs of a project.

“Looking out for New Zealand manufacturers and New Zealand jobs should have been this Government’s number one priority a long time ago,” said Dr Norman.

“Realising in 2013 that it is essential to have smart procurement policies is too late for the Hillside workers in Dunedin and thousands of other workers who have lost their jobs in the manufacturing sector.

“This Government refused to listen to arguments last year that it needed to look at the whole-of-life costs of a project in regards to the Hillside workshops and the benefits to the local economy of Hillside bidding for Kiwirail projects.

“From Hillside to IRD’s computer system, to the fibre for the ultrafast broadband, the National Government has a dire record of sending major contracts overseas and shutting out local businesses.

“For years, the Greens and manufacturers have been calling for government procurement policies that support Kiwi businesses and protect Kiwi jobs. Time and again, we have heard at the Manufacturing Inquiry how these pleas have been ignored by National.

“Stephen Joyce can take no credit for finally realising that what manufacturers and the Green Party have been saying for years about moving to smart procurement policies is correct.

“New Zealand needs a strong manufacturing sector and this sector needs the support of the Government.

“Smart procurement policies are needed to support the manufacturing sector and the vital role it plays in a resilient economy," Dr Norman said.

Note: The Green Party proposed new procurement policies in the ICT sector late last year and Government procurement principles in its Green Jobs package announced just before the last election.
Link to ICT procurement policies (p7):
http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/ict_green_paper_17_12_12_final_1.pdf

Link to Green Jobs:
http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/gp_jobsbooklet_20final.pdf

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